Damian Lythgoe | NCFE

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Damian Lythgoe
Tell us a bit about you

I was born in Stoke-on-Trent and moved to York 10 years ago, where I’ve now settled with my partner and our two children. For my sins, I’m a Stoke City FC supporter and although I’m no longer a season ticket holder, I do my best to watch them lose and draw as many times as I can. My big passion outside of my family is boxing – I’m a huge fan. I love watching professional boxing on TV, my favourites being Tyson Fury, Vasiliy Lomachenko and Terrence Crawford. When I’m not watching boxing on TV, I’m either coaching in the gym or cornering in amateur bouts in my capacity as a boxing coach at Legions Boxing Club in York. When it comes to music, I have no shame in admitting that I am a huge Backstreet Boys fan and have been since the mid 90’s when I was based in Germany with the Army.

Tell us a bit about your career

As with a lot of salespeople, it’s a job that I didn’t plan on doing and ended up in after leaving the Army (which I joined aged 16, straight from secondary school). My first sales role was at Vodafone in the contact centre as a Retention Advisor. I spent seven years at Vodafone developing my sales leadership skills and progressed from Team Manager to Sales Manager. I then moved into the insurance sector for a few years, working for CPP – which eventually bought me to York – before taking a role at TUI in their education division selling TEFL courses. After that, I worked at The Skills Network, LearnDirect/Stonebridge Associated Colleges and Dimensions Training Solutions, before embarking on my career at NCFE.


I had very mixed emotions regarding my last few years in education and was close to leaving the sector and doing something completely different – it was going to take something special to keep me in education, and luckily for me the opportunity at NCFE came up and I was a successful candidate. The big pull for me at NCFE was the people culture, and it still is. The culture at NCFE is identical to what I experienced at Vodafone, who at the time were the eleventh biggest company in the world. We have ambitious targets, but have the backing to realise it, the tools to deliver it and the support to nurture the talent. We have a real purpose to ensure that no learner is left behind and we have great products. I also have a great boss who supports, challenges and guides me daily, and I have absolute faith in our CEO and executive team.

We have ambitious targets, but have the backing to realise it, the tools to deliver it and the support to nurture the talent.

Damian Lythgoe